The president's promise to tackle our problems together as one nation drew many to him, but the reality of that model is terrible for liberals
As the dust settles on the debt-ceiling fiasco, liberals are left scratching their heads and wondering what the heck happened. Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of a balanced approach to deficit reduction and 67 percent of Americans believe we should be focusing on the economy rather than the deficit. With public opinion in our favor and a few fail-safe constitutional options in our back pocket, how did this showdown end in complete and utter surrender?
As it turns out, the reason liberals got a bad deal here is the same reason we got a bad deal on extending the Bush Tax Cuts, and in the budget showdown, and even when it came to health-care reform. Despite overwhelming and irrefutable evidence to the contrary, President Obama continues to believe that he can negotiate with Republicans.
In the health-care debate, the president tried to get Republicans on board by offering a conservative proposal based on Heritage Foundation recommendations and Republican Mitt Romney's health-care overhaul. Rather than being impressed by his reasonable and centrists approach, Republicans instead portrayed the public option as an evil communist plot, screamed about death panels, and outrageously sought to portray the plan as an attack on Medicare. Even though Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress and had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, GOP demagoguery proved effective enough that in the end a watered-down health-care bill barely made it over the finish line. And it continues to be under threat of repeal.